Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Applications for Red Stocking, the Vineyard’s own effort to provide food and clothing for Island children from birth through grade eight, will be available by Nov. 1. Last year Red Stocking provided for over 375 children in need of neighborly assistance. Applications may be obtained at most branches of all Island banks, at Martha’s Vineyard Insurance Co. in Vineyard Haven, as well as at all elementary schools, at Early Childhood Programs of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, at the tribal headquarters in Aquinnah, as well as at the Massachusetts Department of Families and Children, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club and the Island Food Pantry. Applications will also be available at the Health Care Access office where assistance will be available for Portuguese speaking families (508-696-0020).

Parents are strongly urged to apply early, preferably by Nov. 16 so that they might receive food vouchers prior to Thanksgiving. Wrapping will be done at Grace Church from Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 14 through 16. Volunteer wrappers may call Patricia Carlet at 508-693-3187 to let her know when they are available to help. The MV Harley Riders will be riding around the Island on Sunday, Nov. 8, collecting donations and toys. The public is invited to join them at noon at the Portuguese American Club in Oak Bluffs.

For information call Kerry Alley at 508-693-2324 or Lorraine Clark at 508-693-0725. Checks in support of Red Stocking may be mailed to Barbara Silvia, Treasurer, at Box 74, Vineyard Haven MA 02568.

Kerry H. Alley

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

This past January, our good friends Patty and Toby Codding lost all but their lives when a fire consumed their home of at least three decades. The quick-moving blaze rapidly converted Patty’s treasures into charred wood or broken porcelain, while Toby’s prized record collection was reduced to chunks of misshapen plastic. No one is prepared to lose all.

But the friends of the Coddings proved that everything was not lost. Quickly the community moved to help with the immediate needs of Patty and Toby: clothing, food, and not least, a roof. An event at the West Tisbury Agricultural Hall showed the Coddings that we all felt a little bit of their pain, and if they were bewildered by the sudden loss of a life’s accumulations, we were equally stymied in our ability to really help.

At that time, many tradesmen expressed a desire to help the Coddings rebuild in a concrete way. Eight months and a full-blown recession later, most people in the construction industry on the Vineyard don’t have much wealth to spread, and while the Coddings’ insurance claim grinds unsatisfactorily along, their new house is slowly taking shape in the yard and among the trees in the place they called home.

But we can help at last, tradespeople. In a combined concerted effort we can construct new decks and walkways around their house, doing what we know how to do, and giving them a gift from the community that loves them. How easy is that? A day of work among friends is fun and rewarding and satisfying, so unlike real work, in fact. So let’s do it!

Saturday, Nov. 7 is the day, weather permitting, otherwise Sunday, Nov. 8. An 8 a.m. start for framing the decks is ideal. Carpenters bring your saws, horses and cords; helpers can bring enthusiasm and spirit. For information you may call me at 508-294-3404.

Keith Estes

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

All my sympathies are with Baby and family, but unfortunately Biggie has been treated poorly — alone in a house week after week without any social contact or exercise. Do not blame him.

Dora Aldrich


and Dover


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I wanted to add a redemptive thread to Stan Hart’s story (Oct. 9 Gazette) regarding Bideau Abbot and her righteous actions on my behalf. Bideau told me that her father apologized to her right before he died for asking her to leave the beautiful house in Harthaven because of me — an African American. Bideau further related, her father then hugged her, which Bideau said was the first time her dad had ever hugged her as an adult. We are all works in progress and I hope this footnote brings that perspective to the story. I am eternally grateful to Bideau for all that she gave me at a very vulnerable time and for the courage of her convictions. I will miss her dearly.

Walter Robinson

Baguio, Philippines


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

What is Jerry Siegal talking about in his letter to the Gazette: “It is clear that the death of this gay-identified teenager [Matthew Shephard] has been used by the media and homosexual community to promote and expand their agenda to change the moral foundation of our country?” I thought the moral foundation of our country was equal rights for all. Since when has our moral foundation been based on discrimination?

Shame on you, Mr. Siegal. America deserves better.

Steve Levine

Chilmark and Toronto


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I appreciated the Capawock Theatre airing the movie, Not Evil, Just Wrong, last weekend. I am interested in both sides of the environmental issues that face our country and world. It seems like this Island only hears one side of the so-called global warming problem. This film depicts how global warming alarmism and the tax increases that go along with it are going to increase costs for working families during one of the worst recessions in living memory.

Former Vice President Al Gore received a Nobel Prize and an Oscar for claiming in his film, An Inconvenient Truth, that humans cause global warming. In Not Evil, Just Wrong two Irish filmmakers take on Al Gore and the blind acceptance of his doomsday perspective. I appreciated the owner of the Capawock Theatre showing another side of a very serious problem that we all face.

Jeff Winter

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I wish the Oak Bluffs selectmen had been misquoted discussing the lack of notice to residential customers about the water crisis. If one thinks it is possible to be “overzealous” about residents’ health, he must be oblivious to many residents’ outrage, frustration and loss of trust. To read that a selectman worries more about possible panic on the ferry (tourists?) than ensuring that residents are notified of a health risk is sadly and unavoidably reminiscent of the Jaws fictional mayor of Amity Island.

Judy McCarthy

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

When I arrived at work last Thursday, to my surprise there were four large boxes of produce (corn, eggplant, lettuce, and peppers) on our kitchen counter with a note attached that read: “Produce donated from Morning Glory Farm by way of a gleaning conducted by Island Grown Schools and the Sowing Circle of Farmers, for questions call Melinda DeFeo.”

I called Melinda immediately and found out that 24 students in the leadership program at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School gleaned the produce on Wednesday and delivered it to the Edgartown Council on Aging, Edgartown House of Corrections, Edgartown School, Oak Bluffs School, Tisbury School, Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School and culinary department at the high school.

This bountiful gift was perfect timing for the Edgartown Council on Aging! The corn and some of the lettuce was handed out to seniors who attended programs on Thursday. In an amazing coincidence the menu for our cafe last Friday was corn and cauliflower soup, eggplant rollatini and salad. Our cook Diane Wall immediately gathered all the fresh produce and started cooking. The corn went into a corn, cauliflower and cheese soup, the eggplant was cooked and then stuffed and with cheese, rolled and baked with a delicious tomato sauce, and the salad was served with a balsamic and garlic dressing made by Evelyn Anderson, our kitchen volunteer. Believe it or not, our cafe on Oct. 23 is stuffed peppers!

To Morning Glory Farm, the 24 high school students, the Sowing Circle of Farmers (a group of women farmers on the Vineyard) and Melinda Defeo, we say thank you! The gleaning, time and effort by all served over 50 seniors.

Laurie Schreiber


The writer is the director of the Edgartown Council on Aging.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A big, heartfelt thanks to all the people who made the 20th Annual Oak Bluffs Columbus Day Road Race a success. Again we were lucky with beautiful weather which led to an amazing turnout — over 280 participants of all ages. This is the Island Affordable Housing Fund’s third year helping with the race, and it was the largest for us yet.

There are so many people who contributed to this event. I would like to give special thanks to Roger Wey and the Oak Bluffs race committee who helped organize this race and several other races throughout the year, the town of Oak Bluffs and the Oak Bluffs police and fire departments who were there for us the entire event.

Also, thank you to the hundreds of participants who made this race a part of their holiday weekend and for their support of the Island Affordable Housing Fund, and of course the volunteers, who make these events possible. The friends and supporters who sacrifice their time for events such as these continue to amaze me. Lastly, we thank the many business sponsors who help make this event possible with their continued generosity.

On behalf of the board and staff of the Island Affordable Housing Fund, I thank you. Mark your calendar now for next year’s race, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010 and wish us luck for sunshine again.

Guinevere Cramer

Vineyard Haven

The Vineyard Gazette welcomes letters to the editor on any subject concerning Martha’s Vineyard. The newspaper strives to publish all letters as space allows, although the editor reserves the right to reject letters that in her judgment are inappropriate. Letters must be signed, and should include a place of residence and contact telephone number. The Gazette does not publish anonymous letters.